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Porto Design Biennale 2019: the fundamental project

The first edition of Porto Design Biennale (PDB) 2019 advances a programme to rethinking design in the new millennium. The feature theme of the 1st Porto Design Biennale is "Post Millennium Tension 2019" and focus on contemporaneity and urban environment. The first invited country is Italy. This event will be brought to life as of 19 September 2019, with the inauguration of the exhibition "Millennials - Design do Novo Milénio", at Porto Municipal Gallery. PDB 2019 is the result of recent and robust municipal investment in culture by the cities of Porto and Matosinhos. 

"Let us begin with the figures, as I am aware how these matter to the Media, and rightfully so", the Mayor of Porto and President of the PDB board, Rui Moreira enthused at the Porto Design Biennale Press Conference launch held this morning at Almeida Garrett Municipal Library, also attended by Luisa Salgueiro, President of Matosinhos City Hall and Vice-President of the PDB board.

"We are talking about an event that has an overall budget of 1 600 000 euros (one million four hundred thousand), and the public fund related to that investment is 860 thousand euros from Porto City Hall and 540 thousand euros from Matosinhos City Hall", Rui Moreira explained.

These two neighbouring municipalities have a common strategy regarding these areas, and "I refer to Frente Atlântica and sports activities as well, but where culture is fundamental for both municipalities".

This relevant project also reflects the widespread consensus on the subject among the political forces in the city of Porto, because "we all recognise the importance of design", Mayor Rui Moreira enhanced.

Rui Moreira further stated that: "this represents the epilogue to a policy that has been developed by the two City Halls [Porto and Matosinhos], in the cultural context in which design has a fundamental impact for us".

"In fact, design is one of the most relevant aspects of the contemporary culture of the city and the region and it boosts their national and international artistic and economic values, which is what we want to emphasise with the Biennale", explained Rui Moreira.

A little over two years ago, the exhibition "Design by Porto, Porto by Design: 4 years of design from Porto City Hall", on show at Palácio dos Correios building from 19 September to 17 November 2017, featured the transformation of the visual communication of the municipality, which translated into flyers, mupis, urban billboards and catalogues.

"This event has illustrated our connection to the local network of designers within the vision that Porto has of culture, which we try to interpret", the President of PDB board stated, adding that "the establishment of a project to embrace all this energy was fundamental" as it entails "gathering audiences and counterparts, national and international", Rui Moreira concluded.

PDB suggests manifold activities, to be held in several venues in the cities of Porto and Matosinhos. The Porto Design Biennale will run from 19 September to 8 December 2019. The event is expected to attract close to 100 thousand visitors.

The Biennale is aimed at developing and internationalising design thinking and the role of design in the face of emerging challenges. The PDB is jointly promoted by Porto City Hall and Matosinhos City Hall, it is organised by the esad-idea - Research in Design and Art.

Porto Design Biennale 2019 first edition is curated by José Bártolo and seeks to trace the projects and work processes by the Millennials, aka Generation Y or the Net Generation, usually named this way to refer to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century, in a framework of accelerated tensions at global level, be it identity wise, geopolitical, financial, environmental and technological.

PDB general curator, José Bártolo, stated:" Porto Design Biennale is designed to foster what already exists with a major event taking place every two years, establishing the debate between the Universities and business so as to develop critical thinking".

This is the first time that the country organises a Biennale with the purpose of promoting the internationalisation of design creative thinking.

In the scope of the PDB 2019, Porto Municipal Gallery hosts the exhibition "Millennials - Design do Novo Milénio", which inaugurates on 19 September and will be on display till 17 November 2019.

See here for more information on Porto Design Biennale programme.